Category Archives: News/Features

News from Southern Draw

January 13, 2022 – Austin, Texas

Southern Draw Cigars is turning to 10,000 of our most loyal consumers, valued retail partners and media members, to select our next new brand. 

In a very traditional industry – premium handmade cigars – the company decided to create a very modern Quick Response (QR) portal, accessed from any mobile device, to allow participants to input valuable information including cigar reviews, ratings and recommendations, the very data that will be used to determine a new brand to be launched by Southern Draw Cigars in 2023, with plans for a similar campaign that will bring a follow up launch in 2024.  For years, our loyal consumers have offered to test our sample blends, and in some cases, they have smoked a few, but we wish to empower them by harnessing the power of the crowd, to heed their collective feedback and to deliver a product chosen by them, meaning cigar blend, size, and format. 

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My list

Before I post my list, realize that these were mostly released in 2021.

Here is a list, not in any order other than alphabetical, of the cigars that really impressed me that were released in very late 2020 and 2021. There were many other cigars that did not rate a 95 or better, according to my palate, but if you read my reviews you can count on anything rated 85 or better.

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Southern Draw Cigars announces a NEW release and BIG changes.

Southern Draw Cigars LLC, a family-owned company of Austin, TX emerges from its own “COVID fog” and is excited to announce that we are changing the way we support the great premium cigar communities that have helped us learn and grow as a brand. We believe the best way to connect and share our mission is face to face, over a cigar, and only then can we enlist the power of social media to chronicle and capture the true personal connections. 

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PCA Announces [Virtual] International Policy Summit

On October 6, 2021, the Premium Cigar Association will hold a virtual International Policy Summit, hosted in collaboration with Light em Up Lounge. This Summit will cover a wide range of topics including tax, trade, and commerce, the impacts of the charitable efforts and community, and the employment and operations of the premium cigar industry. The summit will be moderated by Reinhard Pohorec of Light em Up Lounge, who will serve as the master of ceremonies and will be joined by panels of experts, policymakers, and dignitaries to discuss the international implications of the premium cigar industry. “We at the Premium Cigar Association are excited to be the first body, internationally and domestically, to hold a policy summit of this kind. Please join us on October 6th for a half day of international policy discussion as well as major goal setting for the future of the premium cigar industry” -Scott Pearce Executive Director of the Premium Cigar Association.
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PRESS RELEASE – Black Label Trading Co.

September 17, 2021 — Black Label Trading Company (BLTC) is pleased to announce the release of ARAPOSA as a Fox Cigar Bar exclusive; hand crafted at Fabrica Oveja Negra in Esteli, Nicaragua.
“Araposa is dark, rich and extremely well balanced. This cigar has bold flavors and just the right amount of spice on the retro hale. The flavors of black cherry, anise and bitter cocoa let you know this is a Black Label cigar. The Nicaraguan fillers are topped with an Ecuadorian Habano binder and wrapped in both Mexican San Andrés and Ecuador Corojo,” says James Brown, creator of BLTC and partner at Fabrica Oveja Negra.
ARAPOSA will be available at Fox Cigar Bar in Arizona.


​​Country of Origin: Nicaragua
​​Wrapper: San Andrés and Ecuador Corojo
​​Binder: Ecuador Habano
​​Filler: Nicaraguan
Robusto – 5.5 x 54 Box Press (10 count pack)

“Black Label Trading Company is redefining the standards for cigar making. With a less is more philosophy, Black Label Trading Co. creates hand crafted premium cigars of the utmost quality at their own factory in Nicaragua.”

For more information, please contact the shop directly at foxcigarbar.com

PCA Government Affairs Team Expands

[Washington, DC, September 10, 2021] The Premium Cigar Association (PCA) announced today that Ryan Parada has officially joined PCA as the full-time manager of government affairs focusing on grassroots and political operations including Premium Cigar PAC, assisting both federal and state government affairs work. Parada worked as a contractor over the past year for the PCA.

“We are excited to continue to expand our government affairs team to reflect new challenges and priorities for the association. Ryan has shown his capabilities as a contractor, and everyone is enthusiastic about him joining the team full-time” said Joshua Habursky PCA Head of Government Affairs.

Before joining PCA, Ryan worked as a legal researcher and holds a Masters Degree from Johns Hopkins University in Government and a Bachelors Degree in Political Science and National Security Certificate from Rutgers University.

“By hiring Glynn Loope in April and now Ryan, the association is making investments into building back our key areas to prepare for the 2022 state legislative cycles and federal election cycle,” said PCA Executive Director Scott Pearce. “Advocacy is a top priority for the association as we fight to keep the industry on a path for sustained growth. With this government affairs team we are poised to truly take our advocacy program to a whole new level, which everyone in the industry should be very excited about,” Pearce said.

Ryan can be reached at Ryan@premiumcigars.org.

Santa Clara D8 Robusto

This is a mild looking cigar from the European market. It will be formally released in the US by Redland Cigar Company at a cut and light event On Fridsy, September 10. The cigar line is from the same factory in Costa Rica in the same factory that produces Atabey. They are touted as a “budget friendly” alternative. There are light sweet notes from the closed foot. The cold draw is slightly tight with light leather notes.


Initial flavors are light to medium bodied. There are some salty notes with the leather and light spices. The draw opens up very nicely. The ash is fairly solid and the burn is somewhat uneven to start.

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